French president warns that UK can’t keep full access to EU

French President Emmanuel Macron told the BBC's Andrew Marr television program that Britain cannot maintain its full access to the EU's single market if it doesn't accept the bloc's founding principles.(Reuters)
Updated 20 January 2018
0

French president warns that UK can’t keep full access to EU

LONDON: French President Emmanuel Macron has suggested that Britain is likely to negotiate a unique relationship with the European Union before it leaves the bloc next year, while stressing that any agreement must be consistent with EU rules.
In remarks released Saturday, Macron told the BBC’s Andrew Marr television program that Britain cannot maintain its full access to the EU’s single market if it doesn’t accept the bloc’s founding principles, including the free movement of people and the jurisdiction of EU courts.
“This special way should be consistent with the preservation of the single market and our collective interests,” he said. “And you should understand that you cannot, by definition, have the full access to the single market if you don’t tick the box.”
That means Britain must continue to contribute to the EU budget and accept the four freedoms guaranteed by the bloc — free movement of people, goods, services and capital — if it wants to maintain full access to the single market, Macron said. The full interview will be broadcast Sunday.
The comments undermine the position of some Brexit supporters who want to regain control of the UK’s borders and shun the oversight of European courts while retaining access to the single market.
It will also dash the hopes of some in Britain who thought Macron might be more flexible than German Chancellor Angela Merkel in negotiating a deal. Macron’s influence within the EU is on the rise as Merkel’s position weakens following an election in September that eroded her power base. Merkel has still not been able to cobble together a coalition government even after months of talks with other political parties.
Macron’s comments echo those he made during a meeting Thursday in which he and British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged closer cooperation on defense and border security after Britain leaves the EU in March 2019. Macron said the UK’s financial services industry can’t keep its coveted access to the EU market unless the country continues playing by EU rules.
“As soon as you decide not to join these preconditions, it’s not a full access,” Macron told the BBC.
“What’s important is not to make people think, or believe, that it’s possible to have” your cake and eat it, he said, accepting Marr’s suggestion for the last five words.


Troops called to India's Kerala as flood toll rises

India residents stand on the shore as Periyar river flooded following monsoon rains at Aluva, in the Indian state of Kerala, on August 16, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 46 min 38 sec ago
0

Troops called to India's Kerala as flood toll rises

  • More than 10,000 kilometers of roads and hundreds of homes have been destroyed or damaged across the state
  • A heavy rainfall “red-alert” has been issued across much of the state, which is home to around 33 million people

KOCHI: Helicopters airlifted stranded families from rooftops and dam gates were thrown open as incessant torrential rain brought fresh havoc Thursday to the Indian state of Kerala where about 100 people are feared dead.
Hundreds of extra troops were deployed in the southern state, a major tourist hotspot, as the government issued a “red alert” over the region’s worst floods in decades.
State authorities said the confirmed death toll was 72 but officials and media reports said up to 30 more people were feared dead Thursday in landslides and as rivers burst their banks, flooding scores of villages.
At least eight people were reported dead and 15 others, including a three-month-old infant, were trapped inside three houses hit by a landslide near an irrigation dam in Malappuram district, the Hindu newspaper said.
Authorities said many people were trapped inside their houses. More than 60,000 people have sought refuge in relief camps.
“At least 6,500 people are stranded in different parts of Kerala and the situation in three districts is particularly grim,” a Kerala state disaster management official told AFP.
Kerala, famed for its pristine palm-lined beaches and tea plantations, is battered by the monsoon every year but this year’s damage has been particularly severe. Floods have also caused havoc in other states, including Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.
Some 540 army, navy and air forces reinforcements were sent to Kerala on Thursday to join the rescue effort.
The army said it had rescued scores of people with helicopters sent to the region. Defense forces and government boats were also used in an increasingly desperate rescue operation.
Authorities appealed for victims to stand in open fields or on rooftops away from trees so helicopters were not damaged during rescue efforts.

People could be seen paddling lifeboats provided by the military, while in some areas families commandeered local wooden boats to ferry themselves to safety.
Army helicopters rescued families but also dropped food packets and drinking water to some of the worst-affected districts.
The government says 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) of Kerala roads have been destroyed or damaged and hundreds of homes lost.
It has ordered the opening of gates at 34 dams and reservoirs where water levels had reached danger levels.
Cars and livestock washed away in the floods were seen on Indian television, and men and women wading through chest-high waters that had gushed into their homes.
Many used social media to send rooftop distress calls, some with video.
Greeta Mathew pleaded for help for her family in a Twitter message.
“Anybody reading this,PLZ HELP. My relatives are stuck on the upper floor of house with an 8 months pregnant lady, in Edayaranmula, Pathanamthitta dist. All rescue control rooms’ numbers busy. No rescue team reached yet. No contact with family since last evening,” she said.
North and central Kerala has been worst hit by the floods but all 14 of the state’s districts have been put on alert as heavy rain is predicted for several days.
In the main city of Kochi, the international airport was closed until at least Saturday because of flooding. Departures were canceled while incoming flights have been diverted to other airports in India.
All public transport has been stopped with many buses left abandoned in the road.
Elsewhere, eight people were swept away on Wednesday after a sudden water surge hit a popular picnic in Madhya Pradesh state. Another 45 stranded were rescued on Thursday by police.